The football world has been rocked this week by the FIFA corruption scandal.
Seven officials from the governing body were arrested in Zurich, Switzerland, Wednesday on charges of racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracies involving millions of dollars.
In total, the FBI says that nine FIFA officials and five corporate executives have been charged.
Meanwhile, a separate investigation led by the Swiss authorities into how the 2018 and 2022 World Cups were awarded has also started.
You’ve been tweeting your questions and queries regarding the arrests and the implications they could have to the hashtag #FIFAQs – here our experts are on hand to answer them.
“Well the African federations have long been Blatter supporters, the Asian federations the same. They have both spoken in support in the last 24 hours or so, both issuing statements saying they will continue to vote for Blatter in Friday’s election. UEFA and their president Michel Platini are another matter entirely though, aren’t they? Platini has admitted that he asked Blatter face-to-face on Thursday morning to stand down. Publicly, they have said they are rallying around his opponent Prince Ali bin Al-Hussein of Jordan instead. In reality, I think Blatter will still get voted in but Prince Ali might well get a few more votes than he might have hoped for. A few more questions will also be asked about Blatter and what more scandal there could be still to come as these investigations continue.” – Amanda Davies.
“That’s a very interesting questions and the answer has changed in recent times because, as part of the reforms, this is the first election that’s being overseen by the FIFA ad-hoc electoral committee. It’s part of the new FIFA electoral regulations for presidency to ‘ensure transparency and fairness in the election process.’ This time around it’s being run by a man called Domenico Scala and two others, who vetted the legality of all the candidates after the end of January deadline. Yes Blatter runs FIFA as things stand, but in theory he’s not been allowed to use any of their resources as part of this election campaign. If he’s done an interview, for example, on FIFA watch, he’s not been allowed to use it as election propaganda.” – Amanda Davies.
“In a word, no. Somebody also asked about the Copa America. But there’s really no reason for this summer’s events to be affected. There might be a little bit more of a spotlight wherever Blatter goes, and of course the big FIFA players. It will be interesting to see if he’s going to be at the Champions League final next weekend in Berlin. That, of course, is a big UEFA event.” – Amanda Davies.
“He does what he pleases and he’s made that very clear he has no plans to step down. He’s got a very loyal power base within FIFA, and before anything else goes wrong, I think he’ll want to bank that support and win another election ASAP.” – CNN World Sport anchor Don Riddell.
“It’s too early to say. It’s not the focus of the U.S.-led investigation, and in any case, it would be hugely difficult to strip either Russia or Qatar of those tournaments – they would fight tooth and nail to keep them. But there’s so much controversy around Qatar and it’s still so far away that there’s certainly a possibility that that tournament won’t be played there.” – Don Riddell.
“That’s simple. If you break the law on US soil and you use their banks to do it, don’t be surprised when the hammer comes down. And when they get you on white-collar crime here, they throw away the key.” – Don Riddell.